We remain largely without effective prophylactic/therapeutic interventions for COVID-19. Although many human COVID-19 clinical trials are ongoing, there remains a deficiency of supportive preclinical drug efficacy studies to help guide decisions. Here we assessed the prophylactic/therapeutic efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug of interest for COVID-19 management, in two animal disease models. The standard human malaria HCQ prophylaxis (6.5 mg/kg given weekly) and treatment (6.5 mg/kg) did not significantly benefit clinical outcome nor reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication/shedding in the upper and lower respiratory tract in the rhesus macaque disease model. Similarly, when used for prophylaxis or treatment neither the standard human malaria dose (6.5 mg/kg) nor a high dose (50 mg/kg) of HCQ had any beneficial effect on clinical disease or SARS-CoV-2 kinetics (replication/shedding) in the Syrian hamster disease model. Results from these two preclinical animal models may prove helpful in guiding clinical use of HCQ for prophylaxis/treatment of COVID-19.
Kyle Rosenke, Michael A. Jarvis, Friederike Feldmann, Benjamin Schwarz, Atsushi Okumura, Jamie Lovaglio, Greg Saturday, Patrick W. Hanley, Kimberly Meade-White, Brandi N. Williamson, Frederick A. Hansen, Lizette Pérez-Pérez, Shanna Leventhal, Tsing-Lee Tang-Huau, Julie Callison, Elaine Haddock, Kaitlin A. Stromberg, Graham Sewell, Dana Scott, Catharine M. Bosio, David W. Hawman, Emmie de Wit, Heinz Feldmann
Infections caused by multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, especially MRSA, are responsible for high mortality and morbidity worldwide. Resistant lineages were previously confined to hospitals, but are now also causing infections among healthy individuals in the community. It is therefore imperative to explore therapeutic avenues that are less prone to raise drug resistance compared to today’s antibiotics. An opportunity to achieve this ambitious goal could be provided by targeted antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT), which relies on the combination of a bacteria-specific targeting agent and light-induced generation of reactive oxygen species by an appropriate photosensitizer. Here we conjugated the near-infrared photosensitizer IRDye700DX to a fully human monoclonal antibody, specific for the invariantly expressed staphylococcal antigen IsaA. The resulting immunoconjugate 1D9-700DX was characterized biochemically and in preclinical infection models. As demonstrated in vitro, in vivo, and in a human post-mortem orthopedic implant infection model, targeted aPDT with 1D9-700DX is highly effective. Importantly, combined with the non-toxic aPDT-enhancing agent potassium iodide, 1D9-700DX overcomes the antioxidant properties of human plasma and fully eradicates high titers of MRSA. We show that the developed immunoconjugate 1D9-700DX targets MRSA and kills it upon illumination with red light, without causing collateral damage to human cells.
Mafalda Bispo, Andrea Anaya-Sanchez, Sabrina Suhani, Elisa J.M. Raineri, Marina López-Álvarez, Marjolein Heuker, Wiktor Szymański, Francisco Romero Pastrana, Girbe Buist, Alexander R. Horswill, Kevin P. Francis, Gooitzen M. van Dam, Marleen van Oosten, Jan Maarten van Dijl
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and FrontoTemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), two incurable neurodegenerative disorders, share the same pathological hallmark named TDP43 (TAR DNA binding protein 43) proteinopathy. This event is characterized by a consistent cytoplasmic mislocalization and aggregation of the protein TDP43 which loses its physiological properties leading neurons to death. Antibody-based approaches are now emerging interventions in the field of neurodegenerative disorders. Here we tested the target specificity, in vivo distribution and therapeutic efficacy of a monoclonal full-length antibody, named E6, in TDP43 related conditions. We observed that the antibody recognizes specifically the cytoplasmic fraction of TDP43. We demonstrated its ability in targeting large neurons in the spinal cord of mice and in reducing TDP43 mislocalization and NF-B activation. We also recognized the proteasome as well as the lysosome machineries as possible mechanisms used by the antibody to reduce TDP43 proteinopathy. To our knowledge this is the first report showing the therapeutic efficacy and feasibility of a full-length antibody against TDP43 in reducing TDP43 proteinopathy in spinal neurons of an ALS/FTLD mouse model.
Silvia Pozzi, Philippe Codron, Genevieve Soucy, Laurence Renaud, Pierre Cordeau, Kallol Dutta, Christine Bareil, Jean-Pierre Julien
Pre-existing humoral immunity to recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors restricts the treatable patient population and efficacy of human gene therapies. Approaches to clear neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), such as plasmapheresis and immunosuppression are either ineffective or cause undesirable side effects. Here, we describe a clinically relevant strategy to rapidly and transiently degrade NAbs prior to AAV administration using an IgG degrading enzyme (IdeZ). We demonstrate that recombinant IdeZ efficiently cleaves IgG in dog, monkey and human antisera. Prophylactically administered IdeZ cleaves circulating, human IgG in mice and prevents AAV neutralization in vivo. In macaques, a single intravenous dose of IdeZ rescues AAV transduction by transiently reversing seropositivity. Importantly, IdeZ efficiently cleaves NAbs and rescues AAV transduction in mice passively immunized with individual human donor sera representing a diverse population. Our antibody clearance approach presents a new paradigm for expanding the prospective patient cohort and improving efficacy of AAV gene therapy.
Zachary C. Elmore, Daniel K. Oh, Katherine E. Simon, Marco M. Fanous, Aravind Asokan
Hydrocephalus is a serious condition that impacts patients of all ages. The standards of care are surgical options to divert, or inhibit production of, cerebrospinal fluid; to date, there are no effective pharmaceutical treatments, to our knowledge. The causes vary widely, but one commonality of this condition is aberrations in salt and fluid balance. We have used a genetic model of hydrocephalus to show that ventriculomegaly can be alleviated by inhibition of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4, a channel that is activated by changes in osmotic balance, temperature, pressure and inflammatory mediators. The TRPV4 antagonists do not appear to have adverse effects on the overall health of the WT or hydrocephalic animals.
Alexandra E. Hochstetler, Hillary M. Smith, Daniel C. Preston, Makenna M. Reed, Paul R. Territo, Joon W. Shim, Daniel Fulkerson, Bonnie L. Blazer-Yost
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder affecting striatal neurons beginning in young adults with loss of muscle coordination and cognitive decline. Less appreciated is the fact that HD patients also exhibit cardiac and respiratory dysfunction including pulmonary insufficiency and cardiac arrhythmias. The underlying mechanism for these symptoms is poorly understood. In the present study we provide insight into the cause of cardiorespiratory dysfunction in HD and identify a novel therapeutic target. We now show that intracellular calcium (Ca2+) leak via post-translationally modified ryanodine receptor/intracellular calcium release (RyR) channels plays an important role in HD pathology. RyR channels were oxidized, PKA phosphorylated and leaky in brain, heart and diaphragm in both HD patients and in a murine model of HD (Q175). HD mice (Q175) with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ leak exhibited cognitive dysfunction, decreased parasympathetic tone associated with cardiac arrhythmias, and reduced diaphragmatic contractile function resulting in impaired respiratory function. Defects in cognitive, motor and respiratory functions were ameliorated by treatment with a novel Rycal small molecule drug (S107) that fixes leaky RyR. Thus, leaky RyRs likely play a role in neuronal, cardiac and diaphragmatic pathophysiology in HD and identify RyRs as a potential novel therapeutic target.
Haikel Dridi, Xiaoping Liu, Qi Yuan, Steve Reiken, Yehya Mohamad, Leah R. Sittenfeld, Panagiota Apostolou, Julie Buron, Pierre Sicard, Stefan Matecki, Jérôme Thireau, Clement Menuet, Alain Lacampagne, Andrew R. Marks
Diabetes is a risk factor for myocardial infarction, and outcomes after myocardial infarction are worse among diabetics compared with nondiabetics. Diabetes is associated with impaired Heme clearance. Here, we determined whether heme toxicity and impaired heme clearance contribute to diabetic myocardial infarction injury and assessed IL-10 as a therapeutic agent for diabetic myocardial infarction. Plasma-free hemoglobin was significantly elevated in diabetic mice compared with nondiabetic mice after myocardial infarction. Infarct size had strong correlation to the level of plasma-free hemoglobin. Hemoglobin and reactive iron deposition within the infarct zone were also demonstrated in diabetic MI. IL-10 significantly reduced infarct size and improved cardiac function in diabetic mice. Moreover, IL-10 improved capillary density, reduced apoptosis, and decreased inflammation in the border zone of the infarcted hearts, findings that were partially inhibited by Tin protoporphyrin (a heme oxygenase-1 inhibitor). IL-10 upregulated CD163, the hemoglobin:haptoglobin scavenger receptor, and heme oxygenase-1 in THP-1–derived and primary human CD14+ macrophages. IL-10 significantly protected against ischemic injury when HL-1 cardiomyocytes were cotreated with hemoglobin. Together, our findings indicate that IL-10 is cardioprotective in diabetic myocardial infarction via upregulation of heme clearance pathways. These findings implicate heme clearance as a potentially novel therapeutic direction for diabetic myocardial infarction.
Rajesh Gupta, Lijun Liu, Xiaolu Zhang, Xiaoming Fan, Prasanna Krishnamurthy, Suresh Verma, Jörn Tongers, Sol Misener, Nikita Ashcherkin, Hongliu Sun, Jiang Tian, Raj Kishore
Recently, we demonstrated that hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) mobilization followed by intravenous injection of integrating, helper-dependent adenovirus HDAd5/35++ vectors resulted in efficient transduction of long-term repopulating cells and disease amelioration in mouse models after in vivo selection of transduced HSPCs. Acute innate toxicity associated with HDAd5/35++ injection was controlled by appropriate prophylaxis, making this approach feasible for clinical translation. Our ultimate goal is to use this technically simple in vivo HSPC transduction approach for gene therapy of thalassemia major or sickle cell disease. A cure of these diseases requires high expression levels of the therapeutic protein (γ- or β-globin), which is difficult to achieve with lentivirus vectors because of their genome size limitation not allowing larger regulatory elements to be accommodated. Here, we capitalized on the 35 kb insert capacity of HDAd5/35++ vectors to demonstrate that transcriptional regulatory regions of the β-globin locus with a total length of 29 kb can efficiently be transferred into HSPCs. The in vivo HSPC transduction resulted in stable γ-globin levels in erythroid cells that conferred a complete cure of murine thalassemia intermedia. Notably, this was achieved with a minimal in vivo HSPC selection regimen.
Hongjie Wang, Aphrodite Georgakopoulou, Chang Li, Zhinan Liu, Sucheol Gil, Ashvin Bashyam, Evangelia Yannaki, Achilles Anagnostopoulos, Amit Pande, Zsuzsanna Izsvák, Thalia Papayannopoulou, André Lieber
Classical dynamins are large GTPases regulating membrane and cytoskeleton dynamics and are linked to different pathological conditions ranging from neuromuscular diseases to encephalopathy and cancer. Dominant DNM2 (dynamin 2) mutations lead to either mild adult onset or severe neonatal centronuclear myopathy (ADCNM). Our objectives were to better understand the pathomechanism of severe ADCNM and test a potential therapy. Here, we created the Dnm2SL/+ mouse line harboring the common S619L mutation found in patients with severe ADCNM and impairing the conformational switch regulating dynamin self-assembly and membrane remodeling. The Dnm2SL/+ mouse faithfully reproduces severe ADCNM hallmarks with early impaired muscle function and force together with myofibers hypotrophy. It revealed swollen mitochondria lacking cristae as the main ultrastructural defect and potential cause of the disease. Patient analysis confirmed this structural hallmark. In addition, DNM2 reduction with antisense oligonucleotides after disease onset efficiently reverted locomotor and force defects after only 3 weeks of treatment. Most histological defects including mitochondria alteration were partially or fully rescued. Overall, this study highlights an efficient approach to revert the severe form of dynamin-related centronuclear myopathy. These data also reveal that the dynamin conformational switch is key for muscle function and should be targeted for future therapeutic developments.
Xènia Massana Muñoz, Christine Kretz, Roberto Silva-Rojas, Julien Ochala, Alexia Menuet, Norma B. Romero, Belinda S. Cowling, Jocelyn Laporte
New strategies are needed to enhance the efficacy of anti-programmed cell death protein (PD-1) antibody (Ab) in cancer. Here, we report that inhibiting palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1), a target of CQ derivatives like hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), enhances the antitumor efficacy of anti-PD-1 Ab in melanoma. The combination resulted tumor growth impairment and improved survival in mouse models. Genetic suppression of core autophagy genes, but not Ppt1, in cancer cells reduced priming and cytotoxic capacity of primed T cells. Exposure of antigen primed T cells to macrophage conditioned medium derived from macrophages treated with PPT1 inhibitors enhanced melanoma specific killing. Genetic or chemical PPT1 inhibition resulted an M2 to M1 phenotype switching in macrophages. The combination was associated with a reduction in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the tumor. Ppt1 inhibition by HCQ, or DC661, induced cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), stimulator of interferon genes (STING), tank-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) pathway activation and the secretion of interferon β (IFN-β) in macrophages which was a key component for augmented T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Genetic Ppt1 inhibition produced similar findings. These data provide the rationale for a melanoma clinical trial testing this new immunotherapy combination and may also be effective in other cancers.
Gaurav Sharma, Rani Ojha, Estela Noguera-Ortega, Vito W. Rebecca, John Attanasio, Shujing Liu, Shengfu Piao, Jennifer J. Lee, Michael C. Nicastri, Sandra L. Harper, Amruta Ronghe, Vaibhav Jain, Jeffrey D. Winkler, David W. Speicher, Jerome Mastio, Phyllis A Gimotty, Xiaowei Xu, E. John Wherry, Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, Ravi K. Amaravadi
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